Recently, Tree of Life Seeds attended the first Arkansas Farmers’ Industrial Hemp Conference, hosted by Arkansas Times and held at the Wyndham-Riverfront Hotel in downtown North Little Rock. The 2-day event was sponsored by Tree of Life Seeds and presented by Green Remedies Group (comprised of Indigenous Seed, Hawgs Hemp Farm, and Hawgs Hemp Refinery).
Currently, in Arkansas, industrial hemp is mainly grown for CBD. Back in 2017, an Industrial Hemp Research Pilot program was launched by the Arkansas Agriculture Department that issued hemp growing licenses to 80 farmers. The first legal hemp crop yield in Arkansas arrived in early 2019.
Some farmers and companies have received licenses for growing hemp or processing hemp, especially during the past year. The Arkansas State Plant Board issued Tree of Life Seeds its hemp cultivation license in 2019.
Since CBD has become such a hot topic in the health and wellness industry, you might only associate hemp with CBD, but industrial hemp can also be grown for its fiber, grains, seeds, and many more applications. Hemp has more than 10,000 industrial applications!
The first Arkansas Farmers Industrial Hemp Conference was the perfect place for Arkansans and people from surrounding states to meet experts in the hemp industry and learn more about this highly sought-after crop.
On conference weekend, the events were held indoors at the hotel’s meeting and convention space that allowed room for lecture sessions and vendor booths.
At our booth, Tree of Life Seeds had the opportunity to mingle with other hemp and CBD companies and get to know them better. We also met a bunch of awesome people who were curious about CBD products and were either already in the hemp industry or looking to get started.
“The conference was a great educational tool for farmers who are already growing hemp or are thinking about it. It was nice to meet more individuals who are passionate about the industry,” said Tree of Life Seeds Office Manager Amy Love, who attended the event.
Attendees of the Arkansas Farmers Hemp Conference were treated to a variety of speakers, all of whom were incredibly knowledgeable about the industrial hemp industry. These speakers covered topics including “hemp seedsmen, processors, consultants, state & agriculture experts and crop scientists.”
The speaker sessions at the Arkansas Farmers Industrial Hemp Conference helped to teach current and future farmers about the ins and outs and pros and cons of the industrial hemp industry.
One significant point continuously brought up during the conference was that many farmers have tried to get into industrial hemp, but they didn’t begin their process with the right mindset or a good plan for growing and selling their hemp.
To avoid ending up with hemp they can’t use or sell; farmers need to thoroughly decide their intended purpose for their hemp crops before they start growing and learn how to grow correctly, sell, and potentially market their crop output. Hemp can be a new, valuable crop for a farmer, but only if they have a proper plan for it.
The conference covered educational topics that any current hemp farmer or a farmer looking to get into hemp farming needs to know:
- regulatory and legal requirements
- best growing practices
- biggest greenhorn mistakes
- best varieties suited to different regions in Arkansas
- how to work with processors
- finding your best market
- testing to minimize THC
- necessary farm equipment for large and small operations
During the conference, Tree of Life Seeds CEO Jason Martin participated in two conference sessions: Business of Hemp Farming and Processing & Infusion.
The morning session on the business of hemp farming revolved around Jason’s very frank advice about being in the hemp industry. He discussed how to create a business model for hemp farming that spans from growing to selling.
In the afternoon, Jason took part in a panel discussion with Robert deBin, President of the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association and CEO of CBD company Buffalo Co., and Brad Fausett, co-founder of Green Remedies Group. They answered questions from the audience about hemp extraction methods, infusing CBD oil into products, and how farmers can find expert extractors for their crops.
If you weren’t able to attend the Arkansas Farmers’ Industrial Hemp Conference, we now have Jason’s sessions available to watch on our YouTube channel! Click here for the morning session or here for the afternoon panel session.